Priscilla only shows up sprinkled here and there throughout the New Testament, and I admit to not noticing her a whole lot until now. What a shame, for she seems pretty unforgettable now that I look into her life a bit more.
Now that I am studying, looking for these women in the Bible, I find them standing out. Waving their hands, calling me to come for a visit. How could I miss so many in my previous readings?
We first meet Priscilla, along with her husband, when Paul of Tarsus arrived in Corrinth. Priscilla worked with her husband making tents, a trade shared with Paul. Between their lives as Christians and a common ground for work, the three formed a friendship that led them on many adventures throughout the ancient world.
Priscilla’s story begins before that fateful meeting with Paul, however. She married Aquilla and the two worked together in their business. She had me at “working with my husband”. I love my husband very much, but boy am I thankful that he goes off to his job during the day while I attend to my various work here at home! I have no doubt if someone forced us to work together it would not end well. He and I work in completely different ways which makes it good that we have entirely different duties.
The patience one learns when working alongside their spouse is nothing short of amazing. You learn a level of compassion and love as well. It binds you together in other ways since you know so much about the goings on of the other’s day. Learning to separate the worklife and the home-life from each other becomes even more necessary.
In more traditional seeming couples, however, the spouses attend to their various obligations away from one another. Absence can make the heart grow fonder, but also spouses can lose sight of one another’s daytime lives. Men, in their oh so talkative way, forget to mention things going on in the office or think a wife may not care. Women, in their oh so silent way, prattle on about the latest glue project of the kids, the new drapes, the state of the larder, and the price of tea in China.
Men and women are quite different beings. God made us differently, gave us each our own strengths and weaknesses. We never truly realize this until we live with someone of the opposite sex.
Paul learned his skill in a province known for their high quality of cloth. Perhaps he taught Priscilla and Aquilla some of what he knew regarding textiles. They, too, could teach him their knowledge of tent making from their travels. The three could improve their secular skills as they conversed over their common work.
Tent-making was not the only appeal that Priscilla and Aquilla held for Paul. Upon meeting them, he noticed at once their spiritualiy. Born Jews, they converted to Christ and became fellow ministers in the Gospel. Paul, so taken with the two, included them on his journey from Corinth to Syria.
Paul did not just invite Aquilla, he invited Aquilla and Priscilla. A note that some might not think much of in this day and age where couple missionaries travel the globe. In this time, the dangers associated with travel meant that often women stayed home. They easily could say to Priscilla to stay and manage the tent business in Corrinth. Instead,Paul wanted her along.
Priscilla worked alongside her husband in ministering to people. Paul compliments her devotion and her willingness to serve God. Once more, we see a woman working to further the Lord’s Kingdom.